Nashville Hot Pork

We butcher a pig or two each year and one of my favorite things is the pork steaks. These are thin cutlets we cut from the big end of the hams and run them through a meat tenderizer. The best thing to do with them is fry them, so I went with a Nashville Hot Chicken recipe and it turned out great. You can use this recipe for really anything you want to fry, it’s great every time.

I modified the recipe a bit, halving it since I’m not frying two chickens. I also added a bit more sugar to the sauce to give it a little more sweetness to go with the hot. And it is HOT.

Time to prep: 15 minutes

Time to done: 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 2 1/2 pounds of pork steaks, chicken breast, or whatever else you want to fry
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cups buttermilk or whole milk
  • 1 tablespoons vinegar-based hot sauce (such as Tabasco or Texas Pete)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • White bread and sliced pickles (for serving)


Toss protein with black pepper and 1 tablespoon salt in a large bowl. Cover and chill at least 3 hours.

Whisk eggs, buttermilk, and hot sauce in a large bowl. Whisk flour and remaining 2 teaspoons salt in another large bowl.

Pour oil (I use canola/olive blend) into a frying pan to a depth about half as deep as your protein. Heat over medium-high heat until thermometer registers 325°. Pat protein dry. Working with 1 piece at a time, dredge in flour mixture, shaking off excess, then dip in buttermilk mixture, letting excess drip back into bowl. Dredge again in flour mixture and place on a baking sheet.

Working in 4 batches and returning oil to 325° between batches, fry protein, turning occasionally, until skin is deep golden brown and crisp and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of pieces registers whatever ‘done’ is for your protein, 15-18 minutes. Transfer to a clean wire rack set inside a baking sheet. Let oil cool slightly.

Whisk cayenne, brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, and paprika in a medium bowl; carefully whisk in 1 cup frying oil. Brush fried chicken with spicy oil. Serve with bread and pickles.

Do ahead: Protein can be seasoned 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

Original recipe: